In December, we debuted our second Featured Game Mode, Showdown. We wanted to share some results from the mode's first run, and give an update on the...less icy map we showed off at the 2013 All-Star Game and said we’d launch before the next season.
The idea for a 1v1/2v2 map originated from a Thunderdome project and ended up evolving into what you saw at the 2013 All-Star Game. At the time, the Featured Game Modes project was just kicking off and the team decided to take a deeper dive into a 1v1/2v2 game mode. They discovered a few things:
There were also a few questions that needed answers:
So we had to make a decision - we wanted to try out a game mode like this, but creating a mode-specific map represented a significant commitment when we weren't sure the game mode was going to be something players wanted. Since players seemed really interested in a 1v1/2v2 experience, we chose to try the game mode out on Howling Abyss - an art-complete and optimized map - to gather player feedback and data.
Showdown was a relatively short-lived experience for most players. Tons of players tried Showdown out when it was first released, but, after only a week, players worldwide spent less than 1% of all in game time on Showdown. Generally, we heard good feedback about the 1v1/2v2 gameplay on Howling Abyss as compared to Magma Chamber. Players also had ideas about continued improvement of the 1v1/2v2 experience such as being able to do specific top, mid or bot lane matchups on SR.
Ultimately, we concluded that Magma Chamber simply isn’t the right place for us to further develop a great 1v1/2v2 experience and the mode itself isn’t sustainable as a permanent feature. So, after many discussions and a lot of fact checking, we’re halting development of the Magma Chamber map you saw at last year's All-Star Game. That doesn't mean that a lot of you (and us) didn’t have fun dueling it out on Howling Abyss and we really want to bring back 1v1/2v2 in the future.
(If you’re interested in the complete breakdown of our Featured Game Modes data as well as some information on the future of Showdown, check out Brackhar’s post.)
We know we changed our minds after making a commitment and we’re sorry. We hate doing it. The biggest promise we make, and the one that makes us believe this is the right decision, is that we aspire to be the most player-focused game company in the world. We’re always trying to make decisions that we think are in the best interest of players and in this case, we think that the best path forward is to perfect 1v1/2v2 as a Featured Game Mode. We’re excited about future possibilities and there are already more projects in the works we think you guys will love.